MRI-powered millirobots

Hydrocephalus is a nightmarish medical condition. Accumulating fluid in the skull ratchets up pressure on the brain and can cause lifelong mental disabilities. Current treatment requires physicians to cut through the skull and implant pressure-relieving shunts.
The necessary surgery is effective but invasive. For surgeries like these, science fiction authors have long dreamt of shrinking surgeons to mere millimeters to allow them to navigate interior passageways of the body instead of cutting large access holes. Arriving at problem sites, the fictional physicians might provide targeted drug delivery or surgical intervention.
Aaron T. Becker, electrical and computer engineering professor at the UH Cullen College of Engineering, is working collaboratively to deliver a robotic version of this micro-surgeon. His submission to ICRA, the flagship conference of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society in Seattle, Wash., was nominated for best conference paper and best medical robotics paper.